2015 workplace trends: digital detox

Eyes glued to your phone at lunch? Try connecting offline instead. The Telegraph is calling “digital detox” the top 2015 workplace trend. (Photo via streetmatt, Flickr)

As we usher in these first few weeks of the new year, we’ll be taking a closer look at 2015 workplace trends. First up is the inclusion of “device detox” into everyday work life.
The Telegraph is calling “digital detoxing” the top workplace trend of 2015.  Google and other tech companies are “leading the charge” to incorporate periods of “living outside of cyberspace, free of gadgets and smartphones,”  writes the Telegraph’s Lisa Luxx.
Ultimately the most important focus in 2015 “will be ensuring that we don’t have to escape to far-away lands to get serious time off,” Luxx concludes.

A New Kind of Digital Detox

Taking breaks from technology is nothing new. The alternative magazine Adbusters popularized “TV Turn-Off Week” more than 20 years ago. As the Internet became the new medium of distraction and obsession, the magazine also urged people to take a “Digital Detox Week.” The aim was the same, says Adbusters founder Kalle Lasn: to curb addiction to technology and get people to connect with one another, not their devices.
Now device detox has gone mainstream.
“In 2015, digital detoxing will no longer be restricted to a secluded seven-day camp; we will start to integrate it into our everyday lives,” Luxx writes.
“Health advisers and clued-up employers will encourage digital detoxing in our daily lives in to give human beings the time and space they need to reach their full potential,” she writes.

Why Taking Regular Digital Breaks Is So Powerful

Can you imagine being required to “check in” your digital devices every day when you arrive at work? The Australia business news website Smart Company predicts device detox will also be a trend Down Under in 2015. Smart Company’s Yvette Maurice notes that workers in Japan already pay “thousands of dollars to check themselves into 10-day ‘detox’ from their social media and web services.”
Business experts have already praised the value of taking social media breaks. Forbes’ J. Maureen Henderson argued in 2012 that getting too wrapped up in the world of social media can harm self-esteem, increase blood pressure and take away from in-person communication.
The digital detox makes social media disconnection — which is simply impractical for many people — more accessible and workable in everyday life. By turning off all devices, even for an hour, we’re able to focus better without giving up the benefits of digital connection for too long. At a time when many employers expect round-the-clock communication with employees, periods of device detox encourage better work-life balance (another of the top 2015 workplace trends, according to Glassdoor).

Getting Smart About Tech

The enemy isn’t technology, of course. It’s all in how we use it as a tool. Interestingly, at the same time that digital detoxes are gaining popularity, smart tech will also rise as a trend in 2015 — especially as tools in HR metrics.
As Forbes’ Karen Higginbottom wrote last week in her column about HR technology trends in the workplace in 2015, “technology will finally help us do something about this disengagement problem.”
As the digital revolution matures, we’re focusing on smart ways to use technology without letting it take over our lives and workplaces. This year, consider the ways you can reduce digital dependence and distraction while making technology work for you and your company.
Disconnecting from digital devices is just one step toward becoming more mindful and fostering a productive, happy workplace culture. Want to learn more about the power of gratitude to transform your workplace? Click below to download our free eBook. A healthy program of workplace wellness is built on a foundation of gratitude. Start your transformation today!
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